The Cultural Significance of Flatulence

Uncle Trevor got hired by the Jamshedpore Irregular after 8 months of unemployment. I can see why it took so long.


The Cultural Significance of Flatulence

To fart. To cut the cheese. To pass gas. To break wind.

 Flatulence, more commonly known as farting, is the expulsion of intestinal gases through the anus. It is a perfectly normal, though slightly embarrassing, human activity. The intestinal gases generally have a characteristic feculent odour and are accompanied by a noise made by the vibration of the sphincter muscles. Why is it embarrassing? Because it’s funny! Flatulence is a source of comedy in several cultures. In fact, Geoffrey Chaucer is known to have used flatulence humour in his works.

 However, I do not think that farting is anything to be embarrassed about. I believe farting in public is not very different from dogs urinating to mark their territory. What do you do when you fart? You make sure that nobody realised what you just did, right? You try to play it cool. You act as if nothing just happened. That’s just you, out of place.

 Here’s a story from my childhood. As kids, my sister and I spent an awful lot of time with our grandfather. The old man was as headstrong as he was unrefined. It’s probably him I get my confidence from. One fine day as we went about our regular games as usual, my grandfather sounded the most dreadful trumpet horn one could ever imagine. It took me a few moments to process what just happened. As soon as I did, I held my breath. My sister doubled over in laughter. I didn’t find it funny. I was very uncomfortable. I looked at the old man. He seemed unfazed. He did not try to pretend as if nothing just happened. He simply did not care. I was in awe, and to be honest, a little scared of him just then. After spending 80 years on the planet, I imagine it gets pretty hard to not get comfortable. That is exactly what farting in front of us meant. My grandfather was comfortable. He knew he belonged. He knew what he did was natural. He did not care what others would think. Nobody could steal his comfort. Nobody could make him feel embarrassed. This right here was a man who knew he was an alpha wolf. He was just making sure we understood it as well. There was nothing funny about it.

Hot-Dog Trevor


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